On a day when some of the area's tradition rich baseball programs were pushed deep into extra innings, top-seeded Leigh built an early lead Wednesday and rolled into the second round of the inaugural Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs with a 9-2 victory over Carlmont.

Justin Scanlon pitched six shutout innings and Austin Vierra and Chris Norman each drove in two runs to lead the Longhorns, who advanced to play Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Division rival Leland on Saturday.

The opening round was not nearly as one-sided for some of the powers from the West Catholic Athletic League.

  • St. Francis rallied to force extra innings and beat San Lorenzo Valley 5-4 in nine as Blake Billinger singled in the winning run.

  • Serra could not hold on to a late one-run lead, then saw its season end on Zackry Moeller's home run in the 10th as second-seeded San Benito advanced 4-3.

  • Valley Christian needed 12 innings to edge Soquel 2-1, the game ending when Kyle Marinconz drove in the tiebreaking run more than three hours after the game began.

  • Bellarmine College Prep held off Saratoga 2-1 as Conor Ridley pitched 51/3 solid innings.

    "It just shows you that the teams in the tournament are good," St. Francis coach Mike Oakland said. "It's not a surprise."

    Leigh, which received the top seed based on the section's playoff point system, got all the runs it needed to move on in the first inning.


    Advertisement

    Playing on their home field, the Longhorns worked out of a tight spot in the top of the first as Carlmont got back-to-back singles with one out.

    Then they gave Scanlon a cushion in the bottom of the first as Vierra knocked in two with a two-out single to center and Norman followed on the next pitch with a run-scoring single to left.

    Scanlon called the first inning huge.

    "Getting some runs early in the game, it really let me pound the strike zone and let my defense make some plays," Scanlon said. "I was a little nervous. But once I get on the mound, it's all baseball. No nerves at all."

    Leigh stretched the lead to 6-0 in the third, taking advantage of two errors and a two-base wild pitch. Paul Hall's home run to right an inning later made it 7-0, pretty much ending any hope Carlmont had of duplicating its 2011 opening-round upset of top-seeded St. Francis.

    Leigh coach Nate Anderson complimented his hitters' approach against Carlmont pitcher Matt Seubert.

    "He's got some great stuff," Anderson said. "He's going to be really good at the next level. Our guys just did a great job of getting good pitches to hit, because that's probably the best breaking ball we've seen all year.

    "But we were ready to go, and with Scanlon throwing strikes and a good tempo on defense, it's a lot more fun to play."

    Archbishop Mitty 7, Terra Nova 1: Luke Rasmussen had a home run and two doubles to lead the Monarchs into a quarterfinal game Saturday against San Benito.

    Leland 8, Palo Alto 4: Leland scored four in the fifth to erase a 4-2 deficit and advanced to the Open quarterfinals. Josh Nashed led Leland with two hits, including a double. He also scored twice.

    Scotts Valley 4, Los Gatos 2: Scotts Valley moved on to play Valley Christian on Saturday, sending Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division champ Los Gatos to its fifth consecutive loss.

    Menlo 2, Capuchino 1: A triple play with the bases loaded in the seventh sent Menlo to the second round of the Division II playoffs.